A lot of businesses you see are veteran-owned (including ours), they just don’t advertise it very often. It may be because of the negative connotations it once carried in previous eras or some other reason altogether, but they should display it loud and proud for reasons I will explain here.
Veterans start and operate businesses at a far higher rate than the rest of the population, and they tend to be more honest and successful, too [link], as integrity is the hallmark of one’s honorable military service. Veteran CEO’s are less likely to preside over fraud, and tend to do better in economic downturns (like the current one) than other business executives. Veteran leaders are also team-oriented, not just profit-focused. This could mean that employees will generally find greater satisfaction in working for them and the long-term success of a company is at their heart, not just a few Wall Street quick-wins or so called “band-aid” solutions that will disintegrate in a few days leaving a gaping pit of calamity. Last, but certainly not least, Veterans are mission oriented. This means that when something absolutely positively needs to get done, for a client for example, a Veteran knows how (or will find a way) to make things happen to accomplish the mission at hand, however large or seemingly improbable it may appear at the time.
What people don’t understand is that military service breeds innovative and agile leaders. Some unfortunately perceive military service as nothing more than strict adherence to rules and rote repetition of procedures. Part of it is, don’t get me wrong, but when the bullets start flying, literally or figuratively, prior-military personnel will shine with levels of adaptation not seen in most who have not served. A common saying in every branch is “adapt and overcome” which translates perfectly into the everyday life of an entrepreneur or other business leader. When something needs to get done yesterday or a roadblock is encountered that needs to be mitigated right now, and no easy solution is within the immediate purview, veterans will generally find a way to make it happen every time, as previously stated, but also in ways quite possibly never before thought of. They will accomplish it most often through cohesive teamwork leveraging the collective experience and intelligence of a group, not the wild individualism of today’s popular Silicon Valley startups. All in all, this team orientation builds lasting, prosperous enterprises more often than the latest startup fad or fly-by-night organizational structure.
We advertise as a Veteran-owned business because we are proud of that, obviously. However, we also do it to enlighten others, and help end the stigma often associated with military service in too many startup circles. Case in point, while writing this article my blogging platform sees that I wrote about veterans, and immediately chose to tag the article as associated with “post traumatic stress disorder,” which itself is associated with a slew of other unfortunate stereotypes by people who only know what they see in the movies. I’m hoping we’ve helped overcome a little bit of that negative stereotyping of veteran entrepreneurs, but there is still so much to do.